It was a normal slow evening in my parent’s house. We had our usual chit-chat during dinner and prayed together as a family. As if on cue, we then dragged our knackered bodies to bed.
Before long, the house was still. Those who snored were slowly gaining momentum. Those who didn’t snore were turning restlessly in their beds, too tired to put up a fight, well aware that it would be an exercise in futility.
At around 2 am, I sprang from my bed. The loud bangs outside were unmistakable. My elder sister was sitting on her bed mumbling a prayer. “The thieves are back”, my sister’s shaken voice trailed off in a whisper.
Nothing unnerved me more than the night thieves. They had come to our home before and now they were back. Did they have to prey on us at night? Couldn’t they at least come during the day if they were brave enough?
My heart was pounding thunderously, as if attempting to tear through my chest. Tight knots were forming in my belly. I suddenly needed to use the bathroom. Drops of sweat were gathering at the nape of my neck. My whole frame was trembling helplessly like a leaf in the wind. I was a nervous wreck!
They were trying to gain entry into our house through a window. They seemed to be having a rough time forging the entry. Maybe they had hurriedly packed a kitchen knife instead of a hack saw in their toolbox?
Maybe one of them was being a horrible team player and was derailing the process? Maybe he (the horrible team player) had smoked something that had made him bleary eyed? We will never know. The loud bangs and commotion had nonetheless jolted us from our sleep.
Then I heard my mother praying in the corridor just outside our room. She wasn’t whispering a prayer. She was praying out loud, calling out the devil and commanding him to leave her home. Like the old lady in the movie War Room. Remember her?
Mom was pacing along the corridor, swirling a clenched fist as she prayed, occasionally bursting out in tounges. She seemed totally unflustered by the danger lurking outside. Mama always prayed.
Shortly after, I heard my dad conversing with them. He too seemed exceptionally calm. For the record, very few things unsettle my dad. Not even thieves in the night. Here I was drowning in horror and yet my parents were unfazed.
“Wasn’t I woven from the same gutsy fabric? Shouldn’t I have been oozing some sort of courage? Even a little? When did the rain start beating me?” I wondered.
Dad asked them what they wanted. They said they needed money. He told them there was no money in the house.
There were more loud bangs. There was more loud prayer. There was more panic in our bedroom.
After what seemed to me like an eternity, the thieves finally waved the white flag.
“Pray for us to get money” they hollered as they scurried away. They had the audacity to leave my mom with a prayer request. Don’t ask me how I knew it was directed at mom, I just knew.
Moral of My Real Life Story
Thieves know when to strike. They rarely attack in broad daylight. They pounce on their prey when its pitch dark and everyone has drifted off to sleep. In the dead of night.
Did you know that one of the greatest tragedies in a Christian’s life is to be found in spiritual slumber? The devil pounces on us when we are sleeping.
Even the strongest guys (the heavily built and bulky ones with gnarly muscles) can be taken out when they are snoozing.
Delilah was able to cut Samson’s hair in his sleep. All his Physical strength lay there dormant and did nothing for him in his sleepy state. His guard was down and his hair was coming down as well.
In Mathew 13, Jesus gives a parable to show us what happens when we are getting some spiritual shut-eye.
The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.” Mat 13:24-25 NKJV
The passage states clearly that the enemy descended on the field while men slept.
The entire Bible is laced with admonitions to the believer to stay alert/awake. The devil is constantly seeking whom to devour. We become easy prey when he finds us sleeping.
Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” Eph 5:14
How do We Stay Awake?
What then can Christians do to ensure they are not caught in spiritual slumber? We stay alert by spending time in God’s presence through prayer and studying His word.
That way our spirits are nourished, our discernment is razor-sharp and we do not easily fall into temptation. Whatever you do, please do not be found sleeping. Don’t let your guard down!